Jayawardena supports Stokes’ bid to be England’s Test Captain

Jayawardena supports Stokes’ bid to be England’s Test Captain

Jayawardena supports Stokes’ bid to be England’s Test Captain

Former Sri Lankan great Mahela Jayawardena thinks star all-rounder Ben Stokes is the appropriate man for the job as England’s new Test captain, and that outgoing skipper Joe Root would thrive as a batsman without the added pressure.

Stokes is widely expected to be named England’s new Test captain in the near future, with the upcoming home series against New Zealand and India in June likely to be his first assignment.

If Stokes is named captain, it will be the first time since Andrew Flintoff’s brief reign 15 years ago that an all-rounder has led England, but Jaywardena believes he is the right man for the job.

On the most recent episode of an ICC show, Jayawardena observed, “I think he (Stokes) will be a wonderful captain.”

“He’s been around for a while and has proven time and time again that he’s a tremendous competitor who is a different beast on the field.”


“For a long time, England hasn’t had an all-rounder lead their Test squad, and I believe he is the best contender.”

“Having his type of persona (as captain) might generate a culture similar to what they had lately with white ball cricket, but they now need to develop that same kind of culture with red ball cricket.”

Now that the extra responsibility of captaincy has been eased, Jayawardena wants Root to return to form, and the Sri Lankan believes the 31-year-old can flourish with bat almost immediately.

“Joe has been batting incredibly over the last three or four years, and there is no question that he will continue to flourish,” Jaywardena said.

“I believe he felt it was the best change for everyone (to renounce the captaincy), and I believe he will benefit from it because he will be able to focus solely on his batting.”

“Knowing how competitive he is, he would have been sad that he had to make that decision (step down), but I believe he would profit in the long run.”


After Stokes get the top job, he will have a lot on his plate, with the immediate fates of experienced mainstays James Anderson and Stuart Broad anticipated to be high on his priority list.

Both players must be given the opportunity to play at home this summer, according to Jayawardena, but the circumstances should determine whether or not they are selected for ongoing trips away from home.

The Sri Lanka legend stated, “Having them in for the England summer is a necessary.”

“With the Dukes ball at home, there are no better or more experienced bowlers than Jimmy and Stuart… away from home, the issues arise.”

“England has a lot of guys who are familiar with Dukes conditions, but they struggle against the Kookaburra (ball) when they are away from home, so they need to find the appropriate personnel for the right conditions,” he added.

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